David Johnson feels watching last season made him a smarter player

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Running back David Johnson‘s 2017 season was a washout from an on-field perspective as the wrist injury he suffered in the season opener kept him from playing in any of the other 15 games on the Cardinals schedule.

Johnson was able to find one silver lining in that dark cloud, however. Johnson said on Thursday that he thinks his time as an observer alongside quarterback Carson Palmer, who was out with a broken arm, left him with a deeper understanding of the game.

“With me being hurt last year, I feel like I got smarter in watching,” Johnson said, via ESPN.com. “Unfortunately, with Carson [Palmer] being hurt I was able to talk to him on the sideline, and he was able to tell me some of the stuff that quarterbacks look at, and he was able to talk to me and teach me some of the stuff to where I can use it in my offense.”

Johnson’s feel for the game served him just fine in his first two NFL seasons. If his time on the bench taught him a few tricks to add to what he already grasped about the game, the Cardinals will be even happier to have him back at full strength.